Friday, July 14, 2017

Daily business briefing

The CBO says Trump's budget won't eliminate deficit, positive Fed remarks lift markets to fresh highs, and more

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Daily business briefing
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1. CBO says Trump budget won't eliminate deficit

President Trump has said his inaugural budget would result in a small surplus by 2027, but the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Thursday that the deficit would remain at $720 billion. Trump has said his proposed tax cuts, deregulation, and spending cuts would help the economy grow and result in a balanced budget. The CBO said the Trump budget was based on growth projections that were overly optimistic. The administration assumes Trump's plan would lead to 3 percent gross domestic product growth, but the CBO put growth under Trump's plan at 1.9 percent.

Source: The New York Times
2. Fed leaders' go-slow approach lifts markets

Global stocks hit records on Friday after the latest encouraging remarks by Federal Reserve leaders lifted U.S. stocks to fresh new highs. Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan on Thursday backed a go-slow approach to raising interest rates further after two hikes earlier this year, calling for waiting for signs that inflation has shaken off a recent dip and resumed its climb toward the Fed's 2 percent target. Fed Chair Janet Yellen said in the second of two days of testimony on Capitol Hill that the economy was improving but due to low inflation the next rate increase would come gradually.

Source: Reuters
3. Airbnb host fined $5,000 for anti-Asian comments

An Airbnb host has agreed to pay a $5,000 fine and attend an Asian-American studies course after canceling a reservation and telling the guest it was because she was Asian, California Department of Fair Employment and Housing officials said Thursday. The guest, Dyne Suh, had booked the host's home for a ski trip with her fiancé and friends in Big Bear in February. The host, Tami Barker, canceled the reservation after a dispute over additional guests, but in a series of messages exchanged with Suh, Barker said she would never rent her home to Suh. "One word says it all. Asian," the host said in one of the messages. When Suh threatened to complain to Airbnb, Barker replied, "It's why we have Trump... I will not allow this country to be told what to do by foreigners."

Source: The Associated Press
4. Fantasy sports leaders, facing opposition from regulators, scrap merger plan

DraftKings and FanDuel, the top daily fantasy sports companies, dropped their proposed merger a month after the Federal Trade Commission filed a suit to block it. The federal regulators, as well as the attorneys general of California and the District of Columbia, opposed the deal because they said it would hurt competition by creating a company with 90 percent of the market for paid daily fantasy sports in the U.S. A federal judge had halted the proposed merger late last month, pending the outcome of an administrative trial that was scheduled for November. Markus Meier, acting director at the FTC's Bureau of Competition, said the end of the merger plan was a "clear win" for consumers. "For years, the vigorous competition between DraftKings and FanDuel has spurred innovation and favorable pricing," he said. "If this merger had been allowed to go through, those benefits would likely have been lost." The companies said scrapping the deal was best for their investors and customers.

Source: The New York Times
5. Trump repeats vow to protect U.S. steel industry

President Trump reiterated his promise to protect the U.S. steel industry from foreign competition on his way to his two-day visit to France. "We're like a dumping ground, okay?" he told reporters on Air Force One. "They're dumping steel and destroying our steel industry, they've been doing it for decades, and I'm stopping it. It'll stop." The comments, made Wednesday and released Thursday, came as the administration is continuing to mull its options two weeks after a self-imposed deadline for how to handle the situation. Shares in U.S. steel companies surged on the news of Trump's latest remarks.

Source: The Washington Post, Bloomberg
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